Do you have any ideas for keeping raccoons out of my garden?
We have several. To scare them away, put a radio in your garden and leave it on all night. (You may wish to check with your neighbors first.) You can achieve the same effect by putting pinwheels and streamers in your garden. These will move and make noise in the wind. Raccoons especially like to nibble corn, so to keep them away from cornstalks, plant squash around the corn. Raccoons don't like to walk on the prickly squash vines.
Last 7 Days
I love my compost pile, but how can I control the gnats and flies that swarm around it?
If you're getting hundreds of this pests, it's probably because your compost pile is not appropriately aerated. A few bugs are expected, of course, but try stirring your pile up more often. Make sure grass clippings, for example, are well mixed with leaves to ensure they're getting air as they decompose. If your compost pile smells bad, that's also a sure sign you need more aeration.
What plants go in a butterfly garden?
Many varieties are good at attracting butterflies. They include allium, aster, bee balm, butterfly bush, clove pink, cornflower, daylily, false indigo, fleabane, floss flower, globe thistle, goldenrod, Helen's flower, hollyhock, honeysuckle, lavender, lilac, lupine, lychnis, mallow, milkweed, pansy, phlox, privet, purple coneflower, purple loosestrife, rock cress, sea holly, Shasta daisy, snapdragon, stonecrop, sweet alyssum, sweet rocket, tickseed, and zinnia.
Can I grow okra in my northern Wisconsin garden?
Okra, of course, is commonly associated with warmer climates and southern cooking, but it can be grown anywhere cucumbers and eggplants do well. Sow it when you're certain the soil and the night will be warm. You'll see the fruits of your labor as soon as the plant is 1 foot tall and it will continue bearing until the first frost. When harvesting, use caution in touching the leaves of the plant. They can cause an adverse reaction in some people.
Can I grow lettuce indoors?
Yes, just use really good, moist potting soil, filling a plastic bag three-quarters full. Sprinkle a pinch of seeds on the soil and cover lightly with soil. Close the top of the bag, leaving one-inch open. Set the bag in a sunny window and when green shoots appear, open the bag more. Keep it in the sun and keep the soil moist with watering. The best temperature for your growing lettuce is between 65 and 70 degrees. When the shoots start getting large, start cutting the leaves and using them to eat.
How can I prevent the ugly, green-white galls I got on my azaleas last year?
Azalea leaf gall is caused by a fungus and effects plants under moist conditions in early spring. It's ugly, true, but not really dangerous to the plant. You can handpick the galls before they turn white, and pruning low, overhanging tree branches nearby will help to improve air circulation around the plant, which can control the fungus.
What kind of water conditions do fig trees need in the United States?
During the growing season, they need one inch of water per week from rain or irrigation. Keep a layer of mulch several inches deep under fig bushes to help conserve soil moisture.
Is it true that one way to get the best flavor from tomatoes is to bury a fish head beneath the tomato plant?
The Native American tribes thought it was a great idea. They used to bury a small fish with every corn seed they planted for healthy plants. Fish is a great fertilizer, and it probably will work for tomato plants, too.